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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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33 Long setup

Hello all,

I moved for work and am in a small apartment for a year while I sort out more permanent housing. I traded my 75 gallon to a coworker for her 33 long (48Lx12Wx12H). She and her husband helped me out with quite a few things, so I didn't mind a trade in her favor. The 33 long is ideal for my current situation, and should be much easier to move without a complete tear down in a year. Small water changes are important as I am working with OLD fixtures that are not python friendly, so filling a 5 gallon bucket in the bathtub tub is my only option, and I don't want to do a lot of that. I would like to do a low tech planted setup with this tank.

My water here is extremely soft, so I can probably hit any target chemistry I want. I have an eheim canister, the 2213 I beleive. The tank came with aqueon LED lights that mount under the front rim. No idea how they would do growing plants but, if they are not up to snuff, I can always get a fluorescent fixture to put on a timer and only use the LEDs when I am watching the tank.

I was thinking of using a good number of crypt wendti in the background, since the tank is so low, mostly green with a bronze and red one or two for accent. I would like some anubias nana, and some java fern windelov. Could definitely use some suggestions for other low growing plants. I don't want to have to trim a lot, so I don't see stem plants being a big part of it, except at first to get the tank established. I plan on a small school of fish like threadfin rainbowfish or a small danio, and cherry shrimp.

I also have lots of questions regarding substrate. I have read about a lot of different options. Soil, mineralized soil, ADA aquasoil, onyx sand and leonardite. I am in a small apartment so I don't have a lot of DIY space, and I have two gremlins, I mean cats, that will make of mess of anything I try to do, so something I can pretty much put in the tank is ideal.

Here is a pic of the tank with a gremlin waiting patiently on top of it. They both liked to sit right on the plastic brace and it was flexing a lot under them, so I got a hood for it for a discount at a local store.

I am definitely interested in any feedback on substrate and plants, and any other advice you may have,

Thank you
pg
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 02:14 AM
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I've never seen a 33 gallon long! Especially if you are looking at less maintenance, I would think you actually got a better deal from the trade.

Very much a newbie, but I would think that ADA aquasoil would be less of a headache for tannins and other possible issues, possibly needing more water changes.

Looking forward to updates!

Interested in meeting Planted Tank/Fish enthusiasts in the Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, WI, areas. Inspired by what others do, no matter how big/small/complicated/simple it is.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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How shallow of a substrate can I get away with with crypt wendtii? With the tank being so shallow I would like to keep the substrate fairly thin, but would like a good number of crypts in the tank, and don’t want to cause trouble for a plant that needs a good root structure.

Can i have the substrate 1-1/2” deep, or would that be too thin?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum7 View Post
How shallow of a substrate can I get away with with crypt wendtii? With the tank being so shallow I would like to keep the substrate fairly thin, but would like a good number of crypts in the tank, and donít want to cause trouble for a plant that needs a good root structure.

Can i have the substrate 1-1/2Ē deep, or would that be too thin?
Maybe you can have a hill at the ends of the tank, that seems to be popular in aquascaping these days


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:19 PM
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I like 33 long's, they're basically a 55 low-boy. As for advice, mine is always to be patient in the beginning. Especially since you want shrimp. There are a lot of ways to start a new tank and none are necessarily wrong. But I'll share what I'd do if this were my tank and I wanted as close to a 100% chance of success as I could give myself. I'd invest in a decent planted LED. Ideally something programmable but a cheap one on a timer & dimmer could suffice. Get either a filter strainer or a sponge to go over the canister filter's intake or the baby cherries will get sucked up. I'd set it up with at least 2" of inert substrate (not ADA or Aqua Soils that lower pH) and let it run a full two months with just plants. I know, I know... 2 months.

By the end of 60 days there should be a ton of plant growth and more importantly -biofilm for the shrimp to feed on. Then add shrimp via drip-acclimation. I would avoid imported shrimp if you can and find something "home bred." After another month, you should have some shrimp fry reaching safe-from-being-eaten size themselves. Virtually all fish will snack on tiny shrimp fry. You just want enough shrimp numbers and enough plant growth for some babies to make it. Once it's crawling with 1/4 inchers, add your fish. Threadfins are a good choice because of their tiny mouths and surface feeding nature. While this method is going to take you to nearly year's end, it will be a great Christmas present for yourself! You can cut corners and shorten these times, buy a whole lot of plants and shrimp to speed the stocking up, and probably get by -but the more you do that the higher your chances of losing fish and particularly shrimp becomes. Can't wait to see your progress and hope you'll start a tank journal.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:47 PM
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Anubias and java fern are not going to take nutrients from substrate and can not even be planted in the substrate. So only the crypt is going in the substrate. Thus anywhere you don't have crypts can be pretty thin since it will be cosmetic.

You have a LOT of substrate options. Crypts are pretty easy to grow. With minimal fertilizer added to the water inert substrates will work fine if you want to go that route. Aquasoils or dirt would also work fine but will require maintenance and if you are only growing crypts in the soil are a bit overkill in my opinion. Certainly 1.5 inches is enough to grow a crypt. If you wanted to add aquasoils but didn't want to see the aquasoil then you could add a very thin layer of aquasoil (say 1cm) and cap it with sand or gravel. Again for crypts this is all you would need certainly.

Ultimately what substrate you pick should be an aesthetic decision. If you like black substrates and want zero diy then going with a black sand or aquasoil or (ugh, eco-complete) will work fine. If you want something a bit more natural looking then small aquarium gravels, or pool filter sand (which is very cheap and requires no washing) will also work quite well.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:36 PM
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My biggest issue with my 33 long was water movement. One 2213 isn't really enough IMO. I had two with the outflows on either side and even then I feel like I struggled getting enough water movement.

Cryptocoryne parva is a nice very low sort of carpeting plant that could work. Because the tank is so low just be careful with light intensity. I also had algae issues (some nasty algae brought in with plants ordered on eBay).


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:40 PM
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This little pump is not much larger than a Zippo lighter and may be all you'd need if you find dead zones: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...6D4V4GO1&psc=1

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 08:57 PM
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Oooo, can't wait to see what you do with this! I have a 33 L too. It's my favorite tank. I run mine on two small sponge filters- one on each end. My favorite plants right now in here are crypt becketti petchii, crypt willisii (although it grows slow), bolbitis fern, subwassertang and buce 'green wavy'. I have plenty of anubias, too- nana and congensis varieties.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, all.

Even if it isn't needed for crypts and anubias, it doesn't seem like it would hurt to have a rich substrate to start, to help give everything an extra edge over algae, and I may want to try a few plants that would appreciate it more. I did find that I can get mineralized top soil from bamaplants.com, and am tempted a get that and cap it with a natural looking small gravel. I remember Home Depot used to sell Red Flint brand fine gravel in bags for traction in cars/trucks in the snow that I really liked the look of in a tank. That was over 15 years ago though, so I don't know if they still sell it.

I was thinking about just getting a 48" normal output t8 single bulb strip, around 6500K, for the tank. If there is a LED fixture that would work I could consider it, although I would be concerned about the shallowness of the tank and algae being a problem with a lot of fixtures. I probably would incorporate a few hours in the day where the light is off. I know there are some who theorize that this may give CO2 a chance to accumulate in the tank, but others think it is not actually beneficial at all. I just want to do it so that I get more time to enjoy the tank when I am home at night.

Glad to hear the smaller crypts can work as a carpet plant, I do like the look of some of them. What about floating plants? Should I plan to try to get some frogbit or salvinia? There was a very active aquarium society here in the Minneapolis area 15 years ago, and I am guessing they probably still are, so I should be able to get quite a few plants. It would be really cool if there are any interesting bucephalandra being propagated that I could add to the tank after it is well established.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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I am actually tempted to try mineralized soil and cap it with Eco Complete - Red, since I really like the look of it. More expensive than more generic gravel, but also has the benefit of being a little lighter, for when I move in a year, and supposedly can bind nutrients well to make them available to plant roots.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum7 View Post
Thanks for the feedback, all.



Even if it isn't needed for crypts and anubias, it doesn't seem like it would hurt to have a rich substrate to start, to help give everything an extra edge over algae, and I may want to try a few plants that would appreciate it more. I did find that I can get mineralized top soil from bamaplants.com, and am tempted a get that and cap it with a natural looking small gravel. I remember Home Depot used to sell Red Flint brand fine gravel in bags for traction in cars/trucks in the snow that I really liked the look of in a tank. That was over 15 years ago though, so I don't know if they still sell it.



I was thinking about just getting a 48" normal output t8 single bulb strip, around 6500K, for the tank. If there is a LED fixture that would work I could consider it, although I would be concerned about the shallowness of the tank and algae being a problem with a lot of fixtures. I probably would incorporate a few hours in the day where the light is off. I know there are some who theorize that this may give CO2 a chance to accumulate in the tank, but others think it is not actually beneficial at all. I just want to do it so that I get more time to enjoy the tank when I am home at night.



Glad to hear the smaller crypts can work as a carpet plant, I do like the look of some of them. What about floating plants? Should I plan to try to get some frogbit or salvinia? There was a very active aquarium society here in the Minneapolis area 15 years ago, and I am guessing they probably still are, so I should be able to get quite a few plants. It would be really cool if there are any interesting bucephalandra being propagated that I could add to the tank after it is well established.
Hi, I have used led fludlights with great success. They cost about 6$ each and you will need 2 20W ones which usually are 1600lm. Only problem is mounting them. They are waterproof so you can screw them on the tanks lid or just lay th on it if its made of glass.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum7 View Post
I am actually tempted to try mineralized soil and cap it with Eco Complete - Red, since I really like the look of it. More expensive than more generic gravel, but also has the benefit of being a little lighter, for when I move in a year, and supposedly can bind nutrients well to make them available to plant roots.

Curious why do a capped soil tank when you have to move in a year and everything will have to be totally redone I assume? Doesnt it take a while to get a capped soil tank going.
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